Fault Finding & Rectification – Explanation
I) Print Head Problem
Q1) What causes the print head to clog?
A1) It causes by Dirt accumulation mix with Ink Solution once print head dried it started to clog.
Q2) Where does the dirt come from?
A2) It comes from the normal A4 Untreated Paper Media that consists of many fine tiny fibers.
Q3) What makes you think that the dirt comes from the paper?
A3) Let analyze the Root Cause and the Prime suspects are the Ink Cartridge, Cartridge Holder consist of Print Head and the Paper Media that come into contact:
a) Paper Media – should use Inkjet paper but costly, by substitution the alternative is to use
A4 untreated paper, commonly available and inexpensive in the market. Need to understand the pros and cons of the choice selected.
b) Case Study by Experiment – to prove the case, use a new glove to wipe every sheet of normal A4 untreated paper (one ream consist of 500 sheets any brand) for at least 25 sheets. The dirt can be seen accumulated on the glove after the experiment. Imagine the print head goes from top left to top right till it reaches and finished at the bottom. The dirt accumulated should be more than the experiment conducted above. The print head cannot be removed and clean except using cartridge ink to purge those blocked holes. As the dirt accumulates the entire print head might affect the print quality. If the printer seldom used it might clog and dried due to poor or no maintenance been done. Like pouring a pail of water on the floor, the dirt will surface and dried up to form stubborn stains. Once dry and harden the dirt needs to scrub and dissolve with special solvent solution. Such incident is beyond the control of Nippon-ink cartridge supplier.
c) New Inkjet Cartridge – new cartridge cannot clog unless it mix with the dirt and becomes harden once dries. Example, new mineral water (similar to the cartridge) was poured onto a dirty glass (similar to a dirty print head). The water becomes contaminated and undrinkable. The water (cartridge) is in good condition yet the blame is on the water (cartridge) that spoils the drink (print head). Can we claim from the water (cartridge) supplier for such incident? Another example, Air conditioner (similar to cartridge) that causes the water (ink) back flow to leak due to drainage pipe is clog. Will the owner insist for replacement of a new Air Conditioner (cartridge) from the supplier. Even after such replacement, it still leaks unless blockage (clog) been removed. The problem is at the blockage (clog) and not the Air Conditioner Set (cartridge). Same theory apply to the cartridge as the root cause is on the print head been clog nothing wrong with the cartridge. Please be more positive, reasonable, logic, fair and constructive in your feedback.
d) Refill and Reuse Cartridge – might clog the print head as ink dries on top of the sponge once it exposure to air. Need to pumps ink into the sponge and causes dried residue been broken by the pressure intake. Some residue might drop into the nozzle and clog the print head. Examples, balance leftover paint can be reuse unless the top layer harden residue been removed. While the cartridge is totally seal and cannot be removed such action is like stirring the leftover paint without removing the top layer. Can the paint be used? If Yes, How? If No, Why?
e) Recommendation – advisable to clean Print Head every 3 weeks or at least once a month. The objective is to prevent print head been dried and harden (clog).
f) Comparison – using Original 100% still encounter print head clog and their explanation is due to wear and tear situation. The print head is builds inside and design separately from the cartridge. Estimated after 5 or more cartridges the print head might be clog. Subject to each individual User’s Up Keeping, Periodic Maintenance and Condition of the printer. Can the Original blame Nippon-ink cartridge for damaging the Print Head. Is this logic, fair, reasonable, practical, ethical and professional to make such comments in general without proof.
Q4) Original Manufacturer claim that Nippon-ink cartridge will damage the print head and Original has the Rights to void the User’s Warranty.
A4) It partially correct for refill and reuse cartridges that might damage the print head as explained above in Answer (A3). While Nippon-ink’s cartridge is new and does not encourage refill unless those cartridge been patented and unable to manufacture. Nobody can legally discharge liability without showing supporting proof and evidence. By stating in general statement like “Using Nippon-ink cartridge or compatibles will or might spoil the print head” is to generate Fears, Uncertainties and Doubts to all Consumers. Majority of the Users had Limited Knowledge on the Printer Application, Functionality, Design and Operation. Therefore the Printer Manufacturer might take this opportunity to hold back certain information to their advantage and push the blame to Nippon-ink in order to protect their own market share and business. This form part of their marketing strategy tools. The expressly and implied action to Void User’s Warranty for using Nippon-ink cartridge did breach the Anti-Competition Acts 2004 stated on the Ministry of Trade and Industries (MTI) web as follow:
Division 2 Section 34 Clause 1 to 5 - Agreements, etc., preventing, restricting or distorting competition and Division 3 Section 47 Clause 1 to 3 - Abuse of dominant position
In case User has any Fear, Uncertainties and Doubts, please contact, check, clarify, verify and confirm with Ministry of Trade & Industries (MTI), or Competition of Commission of Singapore (CCS) at 5 Maxwell Road #13-01 Tower Block MND Complex Singapore 069110, Tel: 63258200; Fax: 62246929; Internet Website: http://www.ccs.gov.sg Email Address: CCS_feedback@ccs.gov.sg and/or CASE directly in Singapore for help and assistance.
Q5) What is Nippon-ink assurance and warranty?
A5) Nippon-ink assures the cartridge meet the expectation of the general consumers by providing Technical backup through Telephone, Email, Internet, Fax and on Site (last resort) to solve and explain to the End-user. In case of cartridge faulty, Nippon-ink will replace new cartridge at no cost (FOC), limited to the actual cost of the cartridge. Nippon-ink only responsible for the cartridge, shall not be liable for the printer condition especially due to wear and tear situation. Nippon-ink provides 12 months limited warranty from the date of receipt.
II) Print Head Cleaning Process.
Q6) How to clean the print head?
A6) Please follow the Manufacturer Manual Instruction given and/or their web stated. Different manufacturers and brands might have differences and methods of procedures. Example, base on general standard procedure, needs to locate the “Printer icon”, point the icon on the printer and right hand click on the mouse. Look for “Printing Preference” (located as the third item) for those using Window 2000 and above. Those using Window 98 and below look for “Properties” (located at the last item). Click it and will come to the Main Menus of the Status Monitor. It shown the Ink Level of each individual color ink tank and other setting. If there was no cross “X” indicated it means the cartridge is in working condition. Locate the “Maintenance” or “Utility” Icon shown on the Top row (Last Item). Click it and it will show the “Nozzle Check, Cleaning Process, Alignment Check and Others etc” Click “Nozzle Check” to test all the Color print condition, if unsatisfactory Click “Cleaning Process” and repeat the “Nozzle Check”. Compare the result and repeat the whole process again till you get it rights. Do not do more then thrice time. If after thrice tries still unsatisfactory stop and leave it overnight before you repeat the same process. The purpose is to let the ink soak into the Print Head to soften the clog before purging it.
Q7) What happen if User cannot locate the Cleaning facilities?
A7) Check the Manufacturer’s Handbook for detail information or Uninstall and Reinstall your Printer Driver base on “Recommended” type. You can download the latest Driver from the respective manufacturer web base on your Window software application.
Q8) How to access to the Cleaning Software?
A8) Visit Nippon-ink’s web at www.nippon-ink.com under “Installation and Cleaning” located at the Column “Trouble-Shooting” at the left-hand side of the Homepage. This is only a guideline procedure. Different model and brand might have slight changes to the procedure due to the program been set by the respective manufacturer. Example as stated on item A6 above.
Q9) How often does User need to clean?
A9) Take note on the following guideline situation as shown below:
a) New Cartridge Installation – clean and check nozzle before actual print to ensure good quality print with satisfactory performance and result.
b) Printing process - not sharp, faded and/or found missing line due to minor clog and dirt accumulation on the print head i.e. blockage.
c) First time User – Clean at least twice to purge the old residue ink formula from the print head reservoir which might be different. Result in either smear during printing or no ink comes out, like missing line or light color tone (faded), or different color tone etc.
d) Low Frequency User - advisable to clean at least once a month and to wet the print head.
e) High Frequency User – Clean after the last copy prints to prevent dirt from accumulation and dried up when not in use.
f) Others – like Periodic Maintenance and Servicing etc.
Q10) How to identify clog print head?
A10) Checks the nozzle after each cleaning. If there is clog at certain particular location, repeat the cleaning and nozzle checks. If the same location occurs after repeat cleaning for the third time. Most likely that particular location of the print head is clog. To be more effective, use a full cartridge to purge and clean it. Balance ink level might not have adequate pressure to purge the dirt from the clog nozzle that might cause false alarm in the cleaning process.
Q11) What action to be taken?
A11) If under warranty send for servicing, if after warranty, the manufacturer might charge around $100 plus (estimated) in Singapore dollar depend on the condition and fault. It not economical to repair as it equivalent to the cost of buying a new printer.
Q12) What happen if the Manufacturer void User’s Warranty?
A12) Please refer to A4 information stated above.
III) Others General Problem
Q13) What happen if the chip cannot be detected?
A13) Either the chip is faulty or need to reset after been taking in and out for a few times. The chip might automatically shift to zero or as empty even when the cartridge is new and full of ink. Once install do not remove the cartridge unless for replacement only. Such removal can affect the quality of the printing due to the pressure in the cartridge is different from the first time been installed. Example, when the drink is open a few times the gas is lesser than before. This will affect the quality of the drink and taste, same theory as the cartridge.
Q14) Why does the Ink Cartridge dried up when not in use?
A14) It might cause by the following incident:
a) Printer connected to computer and is always “On” all the time - Once the computer is on the printer will start to spray ink to moist the print head each time. This might drain off the ink, advisable to switch off the printer when not in use. If printer does not have a switch remove the USB cable and/or the power cord to the printer.
b) Functionality - consists of 2 main cartridges – Black and Color or 4 or more Think Tank Individual Color Cartridge. If any one of the cartridges is empty the whole printer cannot operate and function. Although you intend to use Black ink only, the Color Ink will also be consumed to mix into Black Color. The manufacturer sets this program and nobody able to alter, modify and/or change it.
c) Environmental Factor – The printer located near the window directly under sunlight and the room was very warm or “Hot”. In such circumstances the ink might evaporate by itself. To test and confirm, put a full glass of water in the room for one to two days and evaluate how much water has been evaporated. This experiment indicates the answer to the finding.
d) Recommended Storage Temperature - 15 to 25 degrees Celsius.
e) Shipment - Factory base on indent basis i.e. produce on demand and order. Nippon-ink store at recommended temperature base on FIFO (First in First Out) basis.
Q15) What is the cause for the Ink container been flooded with ink?
A15) It a sign and symptom that the Print Head is seriously clog. The ink in the container is cause by the pressure flow of the ink. Since Print Head is clog the ink cannot flow out, it pushes the ink back to the cartridge and the weakest portion is the joint at the nozzle. Thus excess ink leak at the cartridge nozzle causes false alarm that the ink leaks from the cartridge directly. Example, a hose (similar to print head) is connected to the tap (similar to cartridge) and the hose (print head) is block. The output water from the hose (print head) is limited. It causes the water pressure to back flow to the tap (cartridge) and excess water is seep out from the joint of the hose (print head) and the tap (cartridge) due to the pressure builds up at the joint (nozzle) which is the weakest part of the entire system.
Q16) How to get rid of the excess ink in the container?
A16) Either send for servicing or use a tissue to soak the excess ink from the container and wipe it dry. Use a new cartridge to purge and clean the Print Head as stated on item A6 above.
Q17) What cause the ink to smear?
A17) The findings are as follow:
a) First Time User - old reside ink is different from Nippon-ink that might cause some chemical resistance either no ink flow or smear and/or watery on the paper during printing process. Advisable to clean and purge the ink from the Print Head at least twice to clear off excess old residue ink contains in the ink reservoir. Once completed it should be back to normal condition.
b) Paper Quality - unable to absorb the ink that causes excess ink to overflow.
c) Ink Quality - too liquid or dilute that becomes watery.
d) Print Head – the tiny holes break and/or damage to form into a lump or patch (bigger hole) that causes excess ink to overflow.
e) Picture Resolution – picture downloaded from Internet is around 360 dpi and User cannot improve it. Trying to improve the quality by printing at 1200 dpi or more might cause excess ink to over flow. The resolution still remains at 360 dpi.
f) Printer – type of model and the speed of the printing process must match the paper and ink quality. Assume the Print Head is normal and constant through the printing process. Ensure correct setting for the type of paper use and correct color setting. Example printing on “Plain Paper” and “Glossy Paper” setting is different and printing on “Color Text” and “Color Photo” setting produce different result under same picture, paper, ink and printer.
Q18) Why no ink flow after cartridge installation?
A18) It might be due to the following incidents as shown below:
a) The cartridge nozzle facing upward (top) and the ink flow down at the bottom - Upon installation it take sometime for the ink to flow toward the nozzle. This might cause frustration when user needs it urgently due to mishandling. Let it rest inside the printer for an hour or overnight depend on the condition of the cartridge either new cartridge or reuse cartridge.
b) The cartridge has air bubble trap inside that causes missing lines.
c) The print head nozzles were blocked and/or clog.
d) The ink cartridge is empty or faulty.
e) The chip set cannot be detected, need to reset and/or replace.
f) The cartridge nozzle did not properly or fully pushes into the nozzle pin - The locking lever spring is loose (wear and tear situation) therefore use your finger to press on the cartridge before locking the spring lever.
g) The Yellow Label was not removed before installation or due to balances tapes still cover the Bleeding Hole - Ink unable to flow out from the nozzle. Example, when cutting the packet drink at one corners it difficult to pour the drink as compare to cutting both corners.
h) The used cartridge been taken in and out a few times and the level of the ink is too low - This does not have adequate pressure to push the ink out from the nozzle.
Q20) Can Nippon-ink matches the original in the color print?
A20) Every manufacturer has their own color tone; there is no one fixed solution to all problems. Individual preference and priority of the color tone varies therefore need to specify color tone by number. The purpose is to prevent error, misunderstanding and wrong interpretation. Example Sky blue has varies tone from lighter to darker tone that our naked eye cannot identify correctly without specific sample color tone in number. Nippon-ink color tone is slightly darker compare with Original, which are suitable to object base and scenery. Example, Fuji film is greenish in color suitable for outdoors; Kodak film is brownish in color suitable for indoors; and Konica is bluish in color suitable for sea sport event. In general all can be use at all area and segment. For comparison ensure User use the same printer, same paper, same picture but different ink. Otherwise the result is different and bias due to the quality of printer, paper and resolution. Must compare Apple to Apple and not Apple to Orange although both belong to the Fruit Family but they are always different in appearance, taste, color, feature, usage and application etc.
Q21) Why User cannot achieve to the number of pages specified on the manufacturer’s web?
A21) Manufacturer specifications base on 5% coverage to derive the number of pages with standard dpi resolution. Whereas User base on the stated number of pages and ignore the rest of the condition result in misunderstanding and can never meet the requirement. Example, Epson’s cartridge T038 (Black) extracted from Epson’s web as 330 pages at 3.5% coverage and resolution 360 dpi. (http://www.epson.com.sg/html/products.htm ; Dated 23rd September 2004). By Calculation to estimated the actual usage per page as follow (guideline only):
a) Normal printer resolution is set at 720 dpi therefore it should be 330 / 2 = 165 pages.
b) Normal Text coverage by User around 35% (Assumption) is 3.5% X 165 / 35% = 16.5 pages
c) For resolution at 720 dpi at 35% coverage is 16.5 pages, if under the same resolution (720 dpi) at 100% coverage is 35% X 16.5 / 100% = 5.8 pages.
d) It indicates that the actual usage (coverage) can affect the number of pages even when resolution remains constant. This does not cause any short change to the User although there is a great difference from 5.8 pages to 330 pages.
e) Mathematically proven 5.8 pages and 330 pages is the same although the coverage and resolution is different. (Playing with figures)
f) For comparison must use the same picture, same printer, same paper with same resolution but different ink cartridge and brand (Apple to Apple comparison).
Q22) What is the cost per print compare with laser and inkjet?
A22) For inkjet printer the cost per page estimated around $0.20 to $0.45 depend on the type, brand, model and cost of the cartridge used. While the cost per page for laser print estimated around $0.02 to $0.05(Black only) to $0.25 to $0.35 (Color). It depends on the type of model, brand and overall cost of the toner and drum that can generate the total number of pages. Example some toner range from 2,500 to 6,500 pages and Brother’s brand the Drum can be reused up to 20,000 copies as the toner can be separated. Others the toner and drum fix together that might have a higher cost per page due to “BATA” (Buy And Throw Away) concept. The above example comparison is only for illustration and explanation base on estimation. The machine market price for laser printer is higher (cheapest - $200 for Black only and $1,000 for Color) while inkjet printer (cheapest - $68 for color) with multi-function that can Print, Scan, Copy and Fax in color.
Q23) How to identify Nippon-ink cartridge number?
A23) Nippon-ink lists the printer model, cartridge model and price on the web at www.nippon-ink.com Nippon-ink cartridge number follow the original with some minor changes. Example For Brother model Original is using LC 67 (Black); Nippon-ink use NP-LC 67 (Black); For Epson Brand the Original use 73 N (Black); Nippon-ink use NP-731 N (Black); For Canon brand the Original use PGI 05 (Black); Nippon-ink uses NP-PGI 5 (Black) etc.
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